2019 BMW M140i Dances on The Nurburgring For The First Time

It's probably not a surprise to anyone at this point, but we'll just have to repeat it. If you want to buy a rear-wheel-drive BMW 1 Series, you better make it fast, because the next generation of the model is going FWD.
2019 BMW M140i 15 photos
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Not all 2019 BMW 1 Series will be front-wheel-drive, mind you, with some versions going for AWD either as standard or as an option. The BMW M140i successor is one of those cars, and the pre-production prototype of such a version was recently spied being tested on the Nurburgring.

How do we know this is in M Performance model, you ask? Well, it's pretty simple if you check out a couple of details more closely.

First of all, over 70 percent of the front bumper seems to accommodate wide air intakes, which should be necessary for a high-strung turbocharged four-cylinder like what we may find in the M140i successor.

Keep in mind that the 340 PS output of the current version is achieved using a turbocharged, 3.0-liter, inline-six disposed longitudinally. It would be pretty awkward to fit the same engine transversally for the FWD-based 2019 model, so it's definitely a four-pot in there.

Second of all, look through the 18-inch wheels spokes in some of the photos, and you will be greeted by the familiar blue color of M Performance brake calipers and some pretty large brake discs.

Third of all, there are two exhaust tips at the rear, one on each side, although it's pretty obvious in one of the pictures that the driver's side one is blocked by a valve-looking thingamajig. It's quite probable that the future 1 Series in M Performance guise will sound like a vacuum cleaner at low revs and like a true M car only when pushed harder. We hope we're wrong, though, and BMW will no longer use fake exhaust sound inside the cabin.

Either way, it's likely that the 2019 M140i will use a 2.0-liter four-cylinder with around 340 PS or slightly more, paired with AWD and an Aisin 8-speed automatic transmission. A six-speed manual is unlikely but still plausible. A more radical 1 Series M could arrive at a later time as well.


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